Steady ARC funds is good news for local economic development

CHENANGO COUNTY – A call for level federal funding for the Appalachian Regional Commission may result in more economic development projects here in Chenango County, according to local planning officials.

This week, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand urged federal appropriators to include funding for the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) for the 2017 federal budget. Gillibrand is requesting $120 million in federal funding for the ARC, which includes $70 million to support economic development efforts in Appalachia and another $50 million for the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) initiative.

ARC, a federal economic development agency, received the same amount of funding last year. It was a good-sized increase from what the organization received in previous years, said Wendy Wasserman, ARC Director of Public Affairs.

“That was actually the biggest budget we’ve had in about 30 years,” said Wasserman. “The same funding again would be great for us, and it’s in support of the President’s budget which is in support of us. This money will help us continue with economic development and diversification efforts across the region, which can only be a good thing.”

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